Orbell Communications

Communicating Your Message

Archive for the ‘career’ Category

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Posted by jorbell on June 15, 2010

Busy Busy Busy bookIt’s hard to believe but it’s been a couple of months since I’ve updated this blog but as John Lennon once famously said: “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans”. It’s a statement that’s never been more true than it has been this past week as my wife Jo conspired to break an arm a few days before she was about to start a new job. However, that’s a blog for another day.

I’ve had a very long to do list recently which despite making things rather more hectic than I would like has actually made my day-to-day schedule rather exhilarating. In addition to my work in the office I’ve been in events in London (Internet World) and Newcastle (Thinking Digital) which were both very interesting in different ways. I will post a review of Thinking Digital later this week as this in particular is well worth attending if you can.

I’ve been working on copy for a 12 page corporate brochure, the content, design and layout for a five page staff newsletter and also the production of the company’s 16 page membership magazine. There have been banners to produce for an event in Brussels as well as for International Telecoms Week in Washington DC. The latter of these required the sourcing of a US supplier and arranging delivery to the conference organisers in Maryland.

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Posted in Blogging, Business, career, Design, employment, events, Personal Blog, Planning | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What makes a great CV?

Posted by jorbell on March 18, 2010

A question being discussed today in the Jobcoach group on LinkedIn was what makes a great CV. A lot of good advice came out of this such as how to grab a recruiters attention in the first 15 seconds, formatting, listing achievements over day-to-day tasks and adapting CVs to different jobs.

For my CV for my current position (admittedly seven years ago) I produced a CD ROM featuring examples of work, testimonials, PowerPoint presentations, animation files, research documents etc. All this I put into a DVD case with a customised cover which allowed me to show off my design skills. I also designed it in such a way that the front cover was striking in that it wasn’t exactly clear which way it should be looked at. It then became an interactive item that required the person to study it. It was never going to be passed over quickly during a sift of CVs.

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Supermarket cleaner to life coaching

Posted by jorbell on March 9, 2010

A few years ago the family and I went through some serious financial problems which ultimately led to me seeking out a second income to help make ends meet. Due to the constraints of my day job I was limited to what roles I could take on which perhaps surprisingly, not least to me,  saw me take on a position as an early morning cleaner in a local supermarket. At the time I saw this second job as a means to an end but I in fact gained far more from the experience than money.

For five days out of seven I had to be up at 4.15am for a two hour shift which started at 5.00am and an hour later on Sundays. I got Fridays as my day off when I could have a lie-in until 7.00am. I had a 25 minute journey to make by bike each day which didn’t always go to plan as I had one bike stolen and then had to walk meaning I had to get up even earlier till I found a replacement.

As for the job itself it was interesting to be wandering in a supermarket before dawn though that feeling soon passed. Amongst my tasks was to sweep the aisles with a pair giant scissor-like brushes, mop the cafeteria kitchen floor of chip fat and clean the loos too. On the plus side I did have the gorgeous aroma of fresh strawberries and peaches in summer but you had to weigh that up with the split bag of cat litter or one of those toxic air fresheners with the essence of Chernobyl stream. While basically having the same tasks to complete each day there was always something different going on. For instance, one Sunday I had to literally clean ice cream off the windows!

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Careering ahead: a look at recruitment and the job hunting process

Posted by jorbell on March 5, 2010

Earlier this week I was invited to join a group called Jobcoach set up by Jobcentre Plus on the business networking site, LinkedIn. The aim of Jobcoach  is to bring together a range of professionals from different industries to offer recruitment advice for fellow professionals. graduates and school leavers. There has been lots of great feedback and debate so I thought I would cover some of the topics discussed and make my comments available for readers to view here.

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Posted in Business, career, employment, Internet, Marketing, social networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Building the Employer Brand

Posted by jorbell on December 10, 2009

Today I attended a one day workshop entitled Building the Employer Brand run by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

I found the content very interesting particularly in light of the recent recruitment work I’ve been involved in. It was thought-provoking and gave rise to a number of questions and methods for building stronger internal colleague relationships while also making a business more attractive to customers and potential job applicants.

The programme looked at the following:

  • What is branding?

This was an introduction to the concept of the customer and employer brand.

  • Why is the employer brand important?

This considered the components of the employer brand, and how this relates to the customer brand. We were also asked to look at how our own employer brand was currently perceived, and whether it needs to change or develop.

  • Developing the employer brand strategy

In this session we considered a number of the different aspects of employer branding e.g. organisational values and behaviours, reputation of the organisation, perception of the value of work, challenge & interest as well as individual staff achievement.

  • Communicating the employer brand

To finish the day we covered the aspects of our employer brands which need to change and what information is needed to find these out. This enabled us to build a list of key points outlining the changes needed.

We were given a book called Brand from the Inside by Libby Sartain and Mark Schumann to take away which, from what I’ve read, looks to be an excellent guide and I look forward to reading more. I may even do on an ongoing review so I can cover the topic in more detail.

There are three dates currently in place for this course next year in April, August and December. These can be found along with the course overview on the CIM website.

Posted in branding, career, communications, employment, Marketing, Personal Blog, training | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Job Vacancy: Marketing & Communications Executive

Posted by jorbell on November 10, 2009

The London Internet Exchange (LINX) is a mutually owned membership association for operators of Internet Protocol networks. It provides a neutral interconnection facility and peering platform, known as an Internet Exchange Point (IXP), and represent the interests of its members on matters of public policy.

LINX currently has a vacancy for a Marketing & Communications Executive. This position offers the opportunity to work at the heart of the Internet Industry in a dynamic team-motivated environment. LINX can offer you – in addition to an attractive remuneration package with benefits that include private health cover – life insurance, pension and income protection.

For more information please visit: [URL Removed]

Please note: No agencies! Unsolicited emails or phone calls are not welcome.


Posted in Business, career, Internet, Marketing, News, training | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Communicating with yourself: Acting on your decisions

Posted by jorbell on October 6, 2009

Why are you here? On this page I mean. What was it that made you decide that you should look at this particular article over all the other thousands on the Internet?

That’s not for me to say but hopefully I can persuade you to stick around a while. It might not be as easy as it sounds because you are a free spirit – you make your own decisions and you decide what’s coming next in your life, not me.

Now think about that for a moment. Are you already wavering as to whether you should carry on reading this or not? Are you thinking that I’m wasting your time by not getting to the point? Just what is it that I’m trying to say? Well I’ll tell you: At every single moment of every waking hour you are making a choice and it is you that is in control of every one of them. It may not feel like it but it’s true.

Sure, there will be occasions when we will be placed in awkward situations by other people that we don’t want to deal with but it is us that writes the next scene. For example my boss could fire me. What would I do? I may get upset or angry or violent. I may be philosophical, rational or pleased. Hey, you always said you wanted to leave that crumby job.

Do you see what I’m saying? I’m faced with a situation, I react to it. The question is what reaction will it be?

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Posted in career, Personal Blog, Planning, Research, training, Writing | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

20 years in design, marketing and PR and finally getting certified

Posted by jorbell on August 31, 2009

This Friday represents the 20th anniversary since I became a graphic designer or to be more precise, a Desktop Publishing Operator. Back in those days it was fairly low-level stuff where most of my work was done using drawing boards and camera ready artwork using spray mount and overlays and only sporadic use of a Mac Plus computer. It is still amazes me how we ever got anything done back then. We even needed the printers to send out someone out to collect the artwork – none of this uploading and downloading and the web? That was just a spot in the corner of the office that none of the cleaners could reach.

Just to give you a bit of background, in the summer of 1989 I was in a menial office job counting travellers’ cheques for Thomas Cook. Basically I had to make sure that the cheques returned from branches around the UK matched in value to that listed on the branch remittance. Not exactly challenging unless you were working in Japanese Yen with multiple noughts but an OK job for a while. It wasn’t what I set out to do but that’s where I’d ended up.

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Posted in career, Design, Marketing, Personal Blog, training | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

“Do what you feel, not what I say!”

Posted by jorbell on July 16, 2009

Earlier this evening I was travelling on a bus with my daughter and she was working on the words and pictures of her own comic. She’s done a really good job with excellent drawings and a vivid and funny story to go with it. What got me was the point where she asked me about what to do for the next part. I said her that it was totally up to her as it was her ‘publication’. What did it matter what I thought?

There was a real reluctance to do that which, while understandable for a 10 year-old, was rather sad too. As I explained, there will be enough people in her life telling her how to live it without letting someone (i.e. me) dictate how her own work should look. Having said this her childhood is dominated by rules from us as parents and from school teachers too – has her freewill already been damaged?

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Posted in career, Marketing, Personal Blog, social networking | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Graphical Resumé Gives Michael the Edge

Posted by jorbell on July 3, 2009

Graphical resumé

Graphical resumé

I came across a link to a graphical resumé yesterday which I found interesting on so many levels. First of all it appealed to my design sensibilities and also my interest in innovation.

While the graphs don’t feature real data, I still found myself studying the peaks and troughs for hidden messages and noted every little nuance in the timeline. I particularly liked the daily coffee intake, energy expendature and the humour output at 2:00am. Also of interest was the curious gap at the beginning of 2006 – if we ever met that would be the first question I’d ask him.

What do you think of this style of CV? Obviouly it wouldn’t be appropriate for every career but it does tell us that by doing something different will gain you extra recognition. I’ve already sent this stranger’s resumé to two people and now I’m blogging about it. I’d say he’d have a fair chance of getting someone approaching him to offer him work.

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Posted in Business, career, Design, Marketing, Publicity | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »